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Trump Ignores G20 Unity on Climate Change




representatives G20 summit 2017

Following the G20 summit, member nations released a statement reaffirming commitment to reversing climate change with one exception, the USA. World leaders showed solidarity and a unilateral desire to both promote renewable, sustainable energy sources and to decrease greenhouse gases. Except for President Trump.

The statement further strengthens the commitments first established in the Kyoto Protocols and in the more recent Paris Accords. Of course, the Trump administration made clear its intention to remove the USA from the Paris Accords. In fact, we are now learning that at the G20 summit the Trump administration pushed to work with partners to improve fossil fuel access and use them in a cleaner and more efficient manner. The Trump administration’s stance is in direct conflict with that taken by all nineteen other member nations.

2017 climate change performance index

Country rankings in the 2017 CCPI published by Germanwatch.

Yes, yes there is a debate on climate, but it’s based on data…

Gary Cohn, the head of the National Economic Council, acted as a US representative at the G20 summit. In response to a question about the Trump administration’s stance on global climate policy, he replied “Look, there’s a debate on climate.”

He is, technically, correct. There is a debate on climate. In fact, there are two. The first debate, to which Mr. Cohn refers, is the one championed by the Trump administration, climate change deniers, and the Republican Party. Furthermore, they are having it among themselves, being the only participants.

The second debate is the real one. The subject is how to save the environment. People are trying to find the best solution to mitigate, if not reverse, detrimental climate change. Included is how best to manage resources for our descendants’ survival. There is active engagement about how to promote and create technology that harvests energy from renewable and sustainable resources. The debate includes the reality on how to continue economic growth and prosperity without mortgaging the future of our species on Earth.

This one, the productive debate, uses real data collected over decades. Sure, there are many different interpretations of the data, but this is why many different people need to scrutinize the data. Yes, there are many different proposals for how to ensure a healthy future for life on earth, but debate exists to handle such situations.

Overcoming Obstacles – It’s What Humans Do

There is no reason to ignore technological advancements for clean and efficient uses of fossil fuels. Though some may offer debate, we still do require fossil fuels. However, just because we require it now, does not mean that we will in the future. If we participate in a concerted effort to change, then we can change. Humans are wonderful problem solvers. There are countless examples of how we have overcome apparent obstacles to achieve goals. For Asklepios’ sake, we can transplant organs and have made recent inroads to providing sight to the blind. We can survive in extreme temperatures and in space! Almost all of us carry around a supercomputer in our pocket, though we primarily use it to play games and watch movies, and we insist on calling it a phone.

Discovering advancements to exploit fossil fuels is a worthy endeavor, and we should pursue such technology. It’s just not the future of energy production. This is the clear statement from governments to businesses to individuals. The Trump administration’s stance on climate change and the refusal to participate in a unified global climate policy is an example of the administration’s lack of foresight and leadership on the world stage.

President of the USA, Not of the World

President Trump is absolutely correct when he states that he was voted to be the president of the United States, not of the world. The problem is that this is a shortsighted way of thinking. The countries of world are connected no matter how loud the deniers shout. We live in a global community. There is a plethora of companies operating on the global level to implement renewable, sustainable energy solutions. President Trump’s choice to ignore reality means that the United States will lag in the ability to exploit and profit from renewable energy technology. Dismissing the global community’s efforts at addressing climate issues and renewable energy means that the USA no longer has a reason for an invitation to the table for future conversations. The United States has lost credibility for even promoting solution options.

Just last week, the Australian state of South Australia and Tesla announced a partnership in sustainable energy. Tesla won a bid to install a 100MW (megawatt) Powerpack system for South Australia to be operational by December 2017. Tesla’s batteries will store energy created by the turbines of Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm. Neoen is still building the three-stage project that will produce 315MW for South Australia’s public electrical grid. The completed project will produce energy for 180,000 homes. In January 2017, the company completed the first stage which produces around 100MW.

When the results begin to show, people will not look to the United States for guidance, rather to Australia or one of the many other countries (e.g. India) that are actively promoting positive energy solutions. Fortunately for the USA, there are states, cities, and territories that are pursuing renewable energy solutions despite the federal government’s dismissal of such solutions.

A Plethora of Examples (Jefe, what is a plethora?)

Tu’a, an island in American Samoa, and Tesla completed a 7-acre solar farm in November 2016. The solar cells generate 1.4MW of electricity that transfers to sixty Tesla Powerpacks for storage. This system can provide power to the whole island for three days without sunlight and recharge in about seven hours.

The island of Kauai and Tesla completed a two-part project in March 2017. First, Tesla installed 272 Powerpacks, storing 52MW of electricity, into Kauai’s existing solar grid. The second part was the construction of a 50-acre solar farm. The farm consists of solar panels producing 13MW of electricity.

The energy company Southern California Edison and Tesla completed a project in January 2017. The project saw the installation of 396 Powerpacks with an 80MW capacity. The purpose is to provide further stability to southern California’s electrical grid and reduce reliance on natural gas.

The options available for harnessing renewable energy are staggering. Our own Saul Bowden reported in April about the advancements in creating a road that captures solar power. There are water pipes with mini-turbines inside to capture energy during municipal water use. Wind trees are available, aesthetically pleasing, low maintenance, and able to produce around 2,400 kWh per year. We have transparent windows that can capture solar energy. Of course, we must not forget the old solar panel for homes, though now they are smaller, more efficient, and almost unbreakable.

Leadership Is Needed, There Need Not Be Only One

These are just a few examples of the myriad options for harnessing renewable and sustainable sources of energy. When all options are taken together, it proves that people want this kind of energy. And they want it because climate change is real and fossil fuels are a finite source. If President Trump and his administration continue to force antithetical solutions, then leadership will be found elsewhere. If the Trump administration’s decisions cost economic progress, then in a short time he will be on the receiving end of upset capitalists.

Now, the G20 countries will work toward ratifying laws in support of the agreements. There is still much that can change depending on each country’s own politics. Regardless, the unified commitment is the important part. If President Trump wants any say in global energy policy over the next four years, he should start taking into consideration opposing views. Otherwise, the United States will soon find itself at the back of the pack.

Archaeology, technology, science, movies and TV shows, video games, government and politics, reading sci-fi and fantasy, '60s/70s classic rock. These are the areas in which I spend my days (somewhere in there are food and travel...).


11-Year-Old Scientist Creates Lead Detector for Water.





Genius can show itself in many ways, some people have propositions, others create. It’s all a game of “Who can implement these solutions to a full extent?”. This 11-year-old girl decided to take the matters into her own hands and revolutionized the world of science and health. By creating a lead detector device, this girl contributed to end the massive contamination of the liquids in her region once and for all.

The story begins at Flint, Michigan. An 11-year-old girl named Gitanjali Rao took notice of the water crisis people were having at the time. The drinking water became contaminated with led and caused a major public health crisis.

“I had been following the Flint, Michigan, issue for about two years,” Gitanjali told ABC News. “I was appalled by the number of people affected by lead contamination in water and I wanted to do something to change this.”

When she saw the current solutions that were painfully average and slow at best. The girl decided to step up and fight this, but how? Lead isn’t that easy to detect in contaminated water, right? Well, like any inventor, she made her best effort to make this an easy process for everyone.

She told Business Insider that: “I went, ‘Well, this is not a reliable process and I’ve got to do something to change this,’ ” And so, she went on a quest to find the best solution to the problem.

First, she went to the MIT’s Materials Science and Engineering website to see “if there’s anything’s new,” she read about new technologies that could detect hazardous substances and decided to see whether they could be adapted to test for lead.

Once she found out a project that worked best, she created a device that fulfills one basic purpose: Identify lead compounds in water, portable and relatively inexpensive. And she succeeded.

The device consists of 3 essential parts: There is a disposable cartridge containing chemically treated carbon nanotube arrays, an Arduino-based signal processor with a Bluetooth attachment, and a smartphone app that can display the results. The name? Tethys, like the Greek Goddess of Fresh Water.

How does it work? The carbon nanotubes in the cartridge are sensitive to changes in the flow of electrons. Those tubes are lined with atoms that have an affinity to lead, which adds a measurable resistance to the electron flow.

Once the cartridge is dipped in water that is clean, the electron flow doesn’t change and the smartphone app shows that water is safe to drink. However, if it is contaminated water, the lead in the water reacts to the atoms, causing resistance in the electron flow that is measured by the Arduino processor. The app then shows that the water isn’t safe to drink.

This invention is such a work of art and creativity; it deserves the greatest amount of recognition. And as such, Rao was dubbed “America’s Top Young Scientist” in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge this distinction comes with a check for $25,000, more than enough compensation for saving many.

Here at GeekReply, we hope that this child genius aspires to the greatest of futures. With the recent contributions that have been helping science and health developments. People like this could be a great help for the brighter future of human society.

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General Motors to Release 20 Electric Cars by 2023





There have been a lot of new pushes to take the electric cars to the next level. A lot of countries have been approving laws that will decrease the use of fuel cars for the sake of a better future. It seems like General Motors is going to add more to the plans of a greener environment where cars are usually hybrid or electric.

In a push to produce cars powered by batteries or fuel cells, General Motors laid out a strategy to vastly expand the number of electric models in the marketplace. G.M. said it would introduce two new all-electric models within 18 months as part of a broader plan toward what the company says is the ultimate goal of an emissions-free fleet. The two models will be the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles that G.M. plans to bring out by 2023.

G.M.’s chief executive, Mary T. Barra, announced in September that the company, America’s largest automaker, expected the industry to move aggressively toward an automotive future with zero emissions, traffic accidents and highway congestion.

“General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” Mark Reuss said at a media event at the company’s technical center in the Detroit suburb of Warren. “Although that future won’t happen overnight, G.M. is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles.”

He declined to specify what type of new models will be built off the Bolt’s underpinnings, but the chief of G.M.’s electrification strategy, Pam Fletcher, said the company is focusing on the development of sport utility vehicles and car-based crossover models.

There still isn’t a set timeframe for an all-electric portfolio of products, and the company expects to continue making cars and trucks powered by gasoline engines for an indefinite period of time. But at the very least they want to make some progress like many other companies have.

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California Might Ban the Sale of Non-Electric Cars





Gas-powered cars might soon be a thing of the past in California, at least if Governor Jerry Brown and chairman of the California Air Resources Board Mary Nichols have any say on the matter.

According to Bloomberg, Nichols claimed Brown is interested in banning the sale of cars (and other vehicles) that use an internal-combustion engine within the state of California. This ban is not just a response to similar proposed bans in foreign countries, including China and France; it is also designed to help California meet climate goals set by Global Automakers, which hope to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% from 1990 levels. According to Nichols, the best way to reach this goal is to “pretty much replace all combustion with some form of renewable energy by 2040 or 2050.” Replacing internal-combustion engines with electric engines just might do the trick.

While the ban won’t take effect for at least a decade, Nichols believes it might run into several legal problems. While California can create pollution laws thanks to the Clean Air Act, these laws need to be supported by waivers from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, the EPA has been under attack from the Trump administration, which, according to Nichols, means California likely won’t receive an EPA waiver to enforce the ban. However, Nichols has suggested several alternatives, such as controlling of vehicle registration rules and deciding which vehicles can or can’t access state highways.

Another possible wrench in Brown and Nichols’ ban plan is if it’s feasible. Global Automakers has purportedly claimed that China’s internal-combustion engine car ban would be impossible, although, to be fair, China’s plan is much more ambitious. Instead of replacing all internal-combustion cars by 2050, China hopes to replace one-fifth of their cars by 2025, create quotas in 2018 to facilitate the replacements, and to enforce severe penalties on those who doesn’t comply. At first glance, this plan doesn’t look more ambitious, but reports indicate the number of people who own cars in China eclipses the population of California. Depending on how California plans to enforce the ban, Global Automakers might oppose it.

Nichols believes  a ban on selling non-electric cars could happen as early as 2030, but we will have to wait much longer to see if the ban effectively cuts down on carbon dioxide emissions. Or if California car-owners accept the ban.

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